'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Teaching Children....A word from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

As I mentioned a few days ago, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was giving a speech at the annual conference of the, 'Incorporated Society of Musicians. To read a transcript of the speech go here. It's long and interesting, but one point that jumped out at me, was the problems our children face when trying to get even a basic musical knowledge from school.
He talks about working at the Royal College of Music, as part of an outreach programme, where he met teachers who thought that, "teaching standard Western music notation was to indulge in extreme elitism", would "inhibit children's creativity", and was "alien to the working class values of ordinary people".
Surely by not teaching them you are 'inhibiting their creativity'.
As Davies said, 'imagine not teaching them how to write the alphabet...'

Davies recognised the need for children to understand music many years ago and back in 1959 was Director of Music at Cirencester Grammar School. Here he vowed to give the children the musical childhood he hadn't had.
He made them sing sounds before writing them down so that the sign on the paper represented a meaningful sound to the children.

All sounds very sensible to me.
Especially when you read it alongside an article in 'The Daily Telegraph' by Graeme Paton, about, 'Tone-deaf teachers 'killing off' singing'. Apparently, primary school teachers are too embarrassed to sing in front of the class.
Maybe some of the budget allocated to 'promote singing in the classroom', to 'improve self confidence and language skills', should be redistributed to employ those people who actually know how to do it.

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